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Day 4: training for deaf schoolteachers in West Java

21 May, 2020

Here at iSLanDS, promoting accessible deaf education is at the heart of our mission. Our next update gives the lowdown on a project to transfer knowledge and skills with deaf schoolteachers in West Java

The Little Hijabi deaf school, established in 2013, is the only school in Indonesia with a majority of deaf teachers on its staff. Founded by Galuh Sukmara, the children of the school learn using Indonesian Sign Language (BISINDO) – and have deaf role models, which is vital but often overlooked in deaf education.

Sandra David is a deaf teacher with nearly 30 years of experience teaching deaf children. More recently, she was assistant headteacher at Frank Barnes deaf school in London. For our project, Sandra is working with the teachers at The Little Hijabi to improve their teaching skills and offer the children an even better education in future.

In February, Sandra and iSLanDS reader, Nick Palfreyman, who is co-ordinating this project with PUPET (our deaf research hub), visited the school to observe the teaching and find out what the teachers want to learn. During her visit, Sandra produced three reports in British Sign Language, with English subtitles.

While observing the teachers, Sandra saw many examples of good practice, and shared these – along with some suggested changes that could be made – with school staff members.

Drawing on her observations and previous experiences of working in the global South, including India and Sri Lanka, Sandra also met with parents of deaf children who attend the school, to share information with them about the needs of deaf children.

The follow-up visit – to deliver a bespoke training course – was due to take place in July 2020, but will now be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We will post another report on the iSLanDS blog with an update once that visit has taken place.

In the meantime, we are very grateful to the staff of The Little Hijabi for their welcome, and to Sandra David for sharing her expertise!

We would like to say a big thank you to UCLan and to a number of individuals who have generously supported this project financially – without them, this project would not have been possible.


Teachers at The Little Hijabi discuss changes to the school timetable

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